It’s the quintessential Hawaii experience. Tropical cocktails, dreamy music, oceanside sunsets, and bountiful food. We’re talking about the Luau, one of the top activities to do in Maui.
Of course you want to attend a luau during your Hawaii adventure. It’s your chance to taste Hawaiian cooking, watch traditional hula, experience the culture, and have a great time. But which one should you attend?
We’re giving a full rundown of the island’s best luau, from the polished Wailea productions to the laid-back Lahaina events. Read on to discover these idyllic places to eat, drink, and be merry on Maui’s magical shores. These are some of the best luaus in Maui!
Note – ʻŌlelo Hawaiʻi (the Hawaiian language) doesn’t feature plural forms of most words, and the letter S isn’t in the Hawaiian alphabet. So the plural of luau is luau.
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MAUI LUAU ADVICE
Want to get the most out of your luau experience? Before we highlight the best Maui luau, here are our top tips and insights for having the best time possible, no matter which one you attend!
- All of the Maui luau have unlimited alcohol with the standard ticketing option. However, some have earlier cut-off times and slower service.
- Attend a luau a few days into your trip so that you’re adjusted to the time change. A few drinks from the bar and a dreamy hula production could be just the thing to lull you to sleep if you’re still on Mainland time.
- The Wailea resorts are mostly within walking distance of each other, so you can walk along the beach path to attend a luau at a nearby hotel.
- The Wailea luau options run about 20% more expensive than the ones in Lahaina and Kaanapali.
- While I’ve had some pretty good food at luau, don’t expect fine dining at any of them. They’re trying to cook and serve a lot of people as quickly as possible.
- Bring cash to tip your servers, bartenders, and anyone else who goes above and beyond.
- Wanting to get your money’s worth out of the unlimited drinks? Be sure to plan a shuttle, rideshare, or taxi ride to and from the event.
MOST AUTHENTIC LUAU
Are you dreaming of a full luau experience without the kitsch and razzle-dazzle? The Old Lahaina Luau is one of the most authentic luau on the island, and you’ll love how it’s rooted in culture and history. Don’t worry, though, there are still hula lessons, a welcome Mai Tai, and fun energy.
A lot sets this traditional Hawaiian luau from others on Maui. First, it’s not associated with a resort. Secondly, its authenticity relies on true Hawaiian customs. So everything from the food to the dancing to the stories is based only in Hawaii traditions. Other productions on the island feature entertainment and food from all over Polynesia.
The Kalua Pork is enough of a reason to attend this luau. But you also get to try traditional Kulolo (taro pudding), Lau lau (pork wrapped in taro leaf), ahi poke (raw tuna), and poi (steamed and mashed taro). There are also many familiar mainland foods, like chicken and steak.
You will miss seeing a fire knife dance at the Old Lahaina Luau, since it originated outside of the Hawaiian islands, but the hula dances are beautiful.
I attended the Old Lahaina Luau twice. I loved that it featured an open bar, and the food tasted like what I’ve had at local parties. The West Maui ocean view was incredible, and it seemed very organized.
The Old Lahaina Luau is on Front Street in West Maui.
What You’ll Love: Delicious Hawaiian food and its spacious, ocean-front setting.
What To Note: There’s no fire knife dancing at this Hawaiian Luau. It often gets booked up over a month in advance, so plan ahead if you want to attend.
Want to try more adventures when you’re in Maui? Try some of these exciting experiences!
- Go snorkeling and whale watching. Cruise to Lahaina Turtle Town and spot Hawaiian green sea turtles and brightly colored tropical fish on this snorkel cruise. During whale season view humpback whales in their natural habitat.
- See the sunrise over Haleakalā National Park. Have a once-in-a-lifetime experience watching the sunrise over Haleakalā National Park. Relax with hotel pickup, learn about the history and culture of Haleakalā, and savor a delicious breakfast.
- Explore the Maui Ocean Center. Come face-to-face with marine animals at the Maui Ocean Center, a marine park that boasts the largest tropical reef aquarium in the Western Hemisphere. See indigenous fish, sharks, turtles, and more.
MOST POPULAR LUAU
The Grand Wailea Luau has a lot going for it. Called ʻAhaʻaina Luau, it’s at one of the island’s most popular and iconic hotels, where the sunsets and service are phenomenal. But it’s also one of the priciest options on Maui.
Is it worth the cost? Reviews are mixed, but it is definitely a classic, authentic luau with no kitsch and lots of beauty.
Attending the ʻAhaʻaina Luau is also a great chance to enjoy the grounds of the Grand Wailea if you aren’t staying on the property. Before taking your seat for dinner, you and your keiki (kids) can enjoy island-inspired yard games and get a temporary tattoo.
Then it’s time to find your seat and enjoy a multi-course meal of Hawaiian and Asian-fusion food along with an open bar. Have you ever had Lomi Lomi salmon? This is the place to try it and other great Polynesian staples, like the kalua pig.
The entertainment here is primarily Hawaiian. The hula show tells the story of the Hawaiian deity and the earliest Polynesian settlers who came to the islands. But it also features fire dancing and acts with parachute-like effects and aerial arts – think Cirque du Soleil meets Hawaiian storytelling.
This was previously Honuaulu Luau before getting rebranded and revamped as the ʻAhaʻaina Luau. It’s located in Wailea, the South Maui resort community.
What You’ll Love: The grounds at the Grand Wailea are beautiful, and the performances are spectacular. It typically has good availability, so you have a good chance of getting tickets the week of your Maui vacation.
What to Note: It’s one of the pricier luau on the island. This could be why reviews come in so mixed, since higher prices mean higher expectations.
MOST LUXURIOUS LUAU
Want to immerse yourself in a luxury luau experience? Consider attending the Feast at Mokapu at the Andaz resort in Wailea. From the impeccable service to the incredible views, this Andaz luau matches the elevated look and feel of the hotel.
Tickets to the Feast at Mokapu are definitely on the higher end, especially if you pay extra for front-row seats. But you do get a lot here. The MC and performers are exceptionally polished, and the cocktails at the open bar come out quickly but still taste well-crafted. You’re greeted with a fresh flower lei, and your welcome photo is included in your ticket.
Reviews come in mixed for the food, which likely varies day-to-day based on how windy it is and what ingredients are available on the island.
But if you want an elevated luau, the Feast at Mokapu could be the one to choose. The Andaz Luau is in Wailea.
What You’ll Love: Great cocktails, polished entertainment, and incredible service.
What to Note: This is the highest-priced luau on our list. It comes with an elevated experience, but kids may not appreciate it. We recommend this one for adult groups.
MOST ROMANTIC LUAU
There’s something especially romantic about a starry night on the shores of Kaanapali. The Maui Nui Luau at Black Rock will allow you to take in the incredible sunset and moonlight views of the Sheraton while enjoying elevated entertainment and food.
The luau is well organized, and the open bar is quick with drinks. Menu highlights include Pohole Fern salad, Molokai purple sweet potatoes with Haupia (coconut) syrup, and Dragon Fruit cheesecake. All of it served with sunset views that can’t be beat.
The Maui Nui Luau is one of the firsts to return to buffet-style service post-Covid. This means standing in line for your food, but it will be warmer once you eat it.
While this is a great place to have a romantic evening out, it’s also kid friendly. The Sheraton Luau is located on Kaanapali Beach in West Maui.
What You’ll Love: It’s not as expensive as the Wailea resort luau options, and reviews are overall positive.
What to Note: Buffet-style service is back at Maui Nui Luau. Depending on your vision, this could be a plus for some but a con for others.
BEST LUAU FOR THE KIDS
Want a family friendly luau experience? Te Au Moana may be the best option in South Maui. This experience at the Wailea Beach Resort Marriott has fun pre-show activities, an engaging performance, and incredible sunset views.
Te Au Moana translates to the Ocean Tide, and the performances tell the stories of Polynesia’s early voyagers and how their expert fishing and seafaring practices carry on in Hawaiian culture today.
What will you get from this beautiful experience? Open bar, a fresh flower lei greeting, a three-course meal featuring imu-roasted pork, and a lavish song and dance production on the Marriott’s pristine oceanfront grounds.
The cost is slightly lower than other Wailea luau, and reviews are positive overall.
What You’ll Love: The Wailea Beach Resort Marriott is a beautiful hotel, and the luau is polished and family-friendly. Plus, the cost is slightly lower than its other Wailea neighbors.
What to Note: Most negative reviews note that the sun comes in bright as it sets, and the drinks were unimpressive but quick to come out.
WAILEA BEACH RESORT: WHEN YOU’RE ON A BUDGET
The Myths of Maui Luau is one of the lowest-cost luau offerings on the island. It still carries some old-school Vegas-style elements that most other ones on Maui have moved away from. The seating is set up picnic style, and things sometimes get a little kitschy, but it’s all in good fun.
There’s an open bar at Myths of Maui, which is located at the Royal Lahaina Resort on Kaʻanapali Beach. I attended this luau years ago and remember the server bringing a tray full of different cocktails to our table every time they passed by.
So while I’m tempted to say the food and performances were overall forgettable, the bountiful cocktails probably played a large part in my blurred memory of this production.
The Royal Lahaina Luau features all the classic elements: tropical cocktails, Kalua Pork, and plenty of Polynesian dance entertainment, including fire dancing. The luau buffet menu is smaller than other options on Maui but still is crowd-pleasing.
Though Myths of Maui comes in at a lower cost than other Maui luau, it’s still a splurge by most families’ standards. It’s located on Kaanapali Beach in West Maui.
What You’ll Love: Lower cost, good last-minute availability
What to Note: While it has some modern elements, it still feels like a luau from past generations. Many reviewers feel unimpressed by the overall production.
FOR AN INTIMATE EVENING
Long before Covid caused other luau to cease their buffet lines, Feast at Lele was already mastering the table service luau. That’s what set it apart for years: one group per table, sit-down service, and a small guest count.
The Feast at Lele is a celebration of Polynesian Culture that’s operated by the same team that puts on the Old Lahaina Luau, and it really is different from the other experiences on the island.
I attended the Feast at Lele pre-pandemic, and it stood apart from any other luau I had ever been to. When we arrived, it felt like we were entering an ocean view restaurant. The host greeted us and took us to our own table and began drink service. The cocktails seemed well-crafted, and everything ran very smoothly.
I also liked how the stage was set opposite from the ocean, so we didn’t have to stare into the sun to watch the performances. It also meant that if you were far from the stage, you were at least right next to the beach and had a front-row view of the sunset.
Each course highlights a specific region of Polynesia: Hawaii, Aotearoa (New Zealand), Tahiti, and Samoa. As you eat, the performances coincide with the same region as the dinner course.
If you’ve attended luau on a past Hawaii trip and want something different yet distinctly luau-esque, this is the one to pick. Its price point is a tad higher than other ones in West Maui but lower than the ones in Wailea.
The Feast at Lele Luau is in the cute 505 Front Street Shopping Center in Lahaina town.
What You’ll Love: It’s different from other luau experiences on the island. Plus, it has private tables and an elevated bar service.
What to Note: If you’ve never attended a luau, you might miss the classic buffet+hula experience, and the dining area is a little small.
BEST FIRE DANCING
While most Maui luau options include a fire dancer, you may find the best production at the Drums of Pacific Luau. This impressive experience is offered nightly at the Hyatt Regency Maui in Kaanapali.
It’s one of the higher-cost luau in West Maui, which probably causes some of its reviews to come in negative. After all, people have higher expectations with a high price point. However, this Hyatt Luau has mastered a lot in its 40+ years.
The performances are engaging, the service is streamlined, and the views are amazing. Food and drinks are standard luau fare, but they do have an Imu ceremony and a kukui nut greeting.
The Drums of the Pacific Luau is on the northern edge of Kaanapali on the beautiful Hyatt grounds. Booking early will likely get you the best seats, though they also have pretty good last-minute availability.
What You’ll Love: The performance is great, and the fire dancing grand finale is wow-worthy.
What to Note: This is one of the priciest West Maui luau, but it’s likely more impressive than Myths of Maui, which is also in Kaanapali.
BEST LUAU FOR ISLAND-HOPPERS
If your Hawaii vacation includes visits to other islands, you may want to consider attending a luau elsewhere in your journey. Maui’s offerings are great because they have a little more space and open bars, but they are also a bit pricier.
On Oahu, Paradise Cove Luau is a great experience with various pricing options. It features Hawaii’s only Imu Amphitheater with the traditional imu ceremony, and their performances are spectacular.
While many of Oahu’s luau are cramped in corners of hotels and parks, the Paradise Cove luau is set in its own spacious, dedicated grounds.
What You’ll Love: Standard ticketing is at least 30 percent less than most Maui luau, and it’s got an incredible setting.
What to Note: It’s not on Maui, so this is only an option if you’re also visiting Oahu during your Hawaii vacation. There’s a cash bar, and it’s a bit of a drive from Waikiki.
MORE INFORMATION FOR YOUR TRIP TO HAWAII
- YOUR HAWAII VACATION
- MAUI: 32 Best Things To Do In Maui: From The Mountains To The Sea
- PLACES TO STAY: Wondering Where To Stay In Maui? 25 Great Spots You’ll Love
- OAHU: 25 Absolute Best Things To Do In Oahu You’ll Love
- MAUI WATERFALLS: 18 Maui Waterfalls On The Road To Hana And Beyond
WHERE TO STAY IN MAUI
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